N.Korea Fires Short-Range Rockets

North Korea fired three short-range projectiles from the coast north of Wonsan on Thursday. They flew about 190 km and fell into North Korean waters near Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said.

Experts speculate that the North has developed a new large-caliber rocket launcher that could theoretically hit a military complex in South Chungchung Province in South Korea.

The missiles the North fired into the East Sea in February and March flew 140 to 160 km.

Deployed near the military demarcation line, the new rocket launcher would be capable of hitting South Korea's southern parts including the Osan and Seosan airbases, military authorities said.

Rocket launchers are generally less accurate than missiles but can fire hundreds of rockets in quick succession.

North Korea announced Friday that it has successfully launched a "newly-developed, high-precision tactical guided missile" with its leader Kim Jong-un attended, although it did not disclose when the test-firing took place. Military authorities here assume that mostly likely referred to Thursday's firing.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 27, 2014 10:00 KST